Judge: EFF’s “Stupid Patent of the Month” clearly protected by Constitution

30 11 2017
A federal judge in California has ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation after the organization was recently sued over its “Stupid Patent of the Month” blog posts. As a result, the advocacy group is not required to remove a recent post simply because an Australian patent entity (often called “trolls”) doesn’t like it.

The case began back in April 2017 when EFF countersued an Australian company that it previously dubbed as a “classic patent troll” in a June 2016 blog post entitled: “Stupid Patent of the Month: Storage Cabinets on a Computer.”

In 2016, that company, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. (GEMSA), managed to get an Australian court to order EFF to remove its post—but EFF did not comply. In January 2017, Pasha Mehr, an attorney representing GEMSA, further demanded that the article be removed and that EFF pay $750,000. EFF still left the post up and then sued regarding the Australian court’s injunction.


The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/eff-need-not-remove-stupid-patent-post-about-australian-troll-judge-finds/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

YouTube Defeats Defamation Claim in ‘Remove-and-Relocate’ Case–Bartholomew v. YouTube

12 11 2017

YouTube has been sued numerous times for “removing-and-relocating” videos it thinks were promoted by spam. When it does a remove-and-relocate, YouTube takes down the video, discloses at the original URL that “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service” with a link to YouTube’s “Community Guidelines Tips” page, and then allows the reuploading of the video at a new URL. The relocation of the video kills the existing comments, resets the view counter, and breaks any inbound marketing links, so it can vex uploaders–enough to occasionally make them litigious.

Some of the legal friction comes from YouTube’s imprecise disclosure about the removal. In the cases where YouTube suspected spamming to promote the video, YouTube didn’t technically remove the video because of “its content.” I still don’t understand why YouTube didn’t immediately fix this language to make it more general. Despite the language’s imprecision, the litigant’s real beef typically is with YouTube’s decision to remove the video, not the disclosure about the removal, and I think YouTube should have the right to police its premises as it sees fit.

Bartholomew experienced a remove-and-relocate.


Case citation: Bartholomew v. YouTube, LLC, 2017 WL 4988177 (Cal. App. Ct. Nov. 2, 2017). Superior court ruling.

The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/11/youtube-defeats-defamation-claim-in-remove-and-relocate-case-bartholomew-v-youtube.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

There’s now only one US state where mug shots aren’t public records

13 03 2017
In a 53-14 vote that took place days ago, South Dakota’s legislative House passed legislation that makes arrest booking photos public records. The measure, which cleared the state’s Senate in January, will be signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

With that signature on Senate Bill 25, (PDF) South Dakota becomes the 49th state requiring mug shots to be public records. The only other state in the union where they’re not public records is Louisiana.

The South Dakota measure is certain to provide fresh material for the online mug shot business racket. These questionable sites post mug shots, often in a bid to embarrass people in hopes of getting them to pay hundreds of dollars to have their photos removed. The exposé I did on this for Wired found that some mug shot site operators had a symbiotic relationship with reputation management firms that charge for mug shot removals.


The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/03/theres-now-only-one-us-state-where-mugshots-arent-public-records/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

Section 230 Protects Grindr From Harrassed User’s Claims–Herrick v. Grindr

6 03 2017

This is a well-constructed and thoughtful Section 230 ruling. If this case keeps going in the same direction, it has the potential to become a major Section 230 precedent.

Herrick claims that ex-boyfriend JC used Grindr to launch a vicious five-month e-personation attack. JC allegedly created fake dating profiles in Herrick’s name, with his contact info, saying Herrick wanted sex; with the predictable result that allegedly hundreds of horny men responded to the profiles and sought out Herrick at his home and workplace. Craigslist has been used for similar attacks for a long time, and California created an “e-personation” crime to combat them. Herrick further claims he’s contacted Grindr over 50 times about this harassment campaign and never received a response other than a form acknowledgement email.

Herrick sued Grindr in state court and got an immediate TRO instructing Grindr to “immediately disable all impersonating profiles created under Plaintiff’s name or with identifying information relating to Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s photograph, address, phone number, email account or place of work.” Grindr removed the case to federal court. The court’s opinion is in response to Herrick’s request to extend the TRO. The court denies the request.

Section 230

If you are a Section 230 fan, I encourage you to read the opinion’s entire discussion about Section 230. It’s not that long, and I considered quoting the whole thing. It’s worth the read.




Because the opinion is so savvy about Section 230, I’m awarding the rare and coveted Technology & Marketing Law Blog Judge-of-the-Day honors to Judge Valerie Caproni. Congratulations, your honor. Opinions like this remind us why the US judicial system is so respected by other countries. May it always be that way.

Case citation: Herrick v. Grindr, LLC, 2017 WL 744605 (SDNY Feb. 24, 2017). Complaint.


The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/03/section-230-protects-grindr-from-harrassed-users-claims-herrick-v-grindr.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

If you’re a revenge porn victim, consider this free, helpful legal guide

14 02 2017
Without My Consent, a San Francisco-based advocacy organization that aims to help victims of revenge porn, has released a slew of new resources this week in an attempt to make seeking justice easier for victims.

The new materials, dubbed “Something Can Be Done! Guide,” provides a step-by-step guide for victims. It provides concrete measures that they can take, including evidence preservation, copyright registration, restraining orders, and takedown requests to Internet companies—many of which don’t require the often-costly services of a lawyer. (Without My Consent’s efforts are reminiscent of Nolo, a decades-old do-it-yourself legal publisher.)

guide is here: http://withoutmyconsent.org/resources


The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/if-youre-a-revenge-porn-victim-consider-this-free-helpful-legal-guide/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.